"Sustainability is just like morals: one should live by them and not just talk about them. Our roots in modern design make the first step easy: we make products that avoid the superfluous and last for a very long time."
Rolf Fehlbaum (Chairman of Vitra)
Today, companies are increasingly being judged on what they are doing to take on ecological, social and economic responsibility. Vitra does not see this responsibility as a duty that has to be forced upon the company, but rather as an aspect of design that has always been a part of the company’s industrial culture. At Vitra, it goes without saying that furniture is valuable when its production, utilisation and recycling does not harm people or the environment.
Following in the tradition of Charles & Ray Eames, who have influenced Vitra’s approach to sustainability in many ways, product longevity is central to the company’s contribution to sustainable development; short-lived styling is avoided at all costs. This can be seen most clearly in the classical pieces of furniture that have been used for decades, had several owners and have then even ended up as a part of a collection.
For Vitra, the manufacture of sustainable products means intense pre-production development, where the highest-grade materials are selected and tests are carried out that simulate 15 years of use. Individual components should be easy to replace and ultimately recycled.
In order to enforce and monitor sustainable development in all business activities of the company, a work group was formed in 1986 by the name of "Vitra and the Environment". Because of this, Vitra can proudly claim that it has been dedicated to sustainability for nearly a quarter of a century. Both internal and external audits serve as additional verification that all measures continue to be further developed.
In addition to this, Vitra adheres to stringent procurement directives for ensuring standards within the areas of work conditions, safety and health protection, etc.
For detailed figures and more information on both our sustainability measures and goals for sustainable development, please refer to our Sustainability Report 2012 (PDF).